On this episode of Food Futures, Ludwig Hurtado invites Madeleine Young and Olivia Maher to discuss the viral internet trend Girl Dinner.

This is an episode of MOLD’s podcast, Food Futures. Listen here.

In mid-May of this year, Olivia posted a simple tiktok in her kitchen describing a meal she dubbed “Girl Dinner”— low effort meals consisting of a smorgasbord of ingredients scavenged from the fridge, freezer, and pantry. What started as a quick video has turned into a viral trend with thousands of videos using the Girl Dinner hashtag set to songs that have been made to accompany the trend. 

Now, in August, it seems that Girl Dinners are here to stay. In an internet culture where trends cycle faster than ever, what is it that has made this one so ubiquitous? With the release of Greta Gerwig’s sensational Barbie Movie, and the seasonal staples of “Hot Girl Walks”, and “Hot Girl Summer”, a renewed embrace of a feminine identity online seems to have set the stage for the still-growing internet trend. The ethos of Girl Dinner removes the pressure to produce high-labor and aesthetically pleasing meals, and instead embraces indulgence and cravings which result in an oddly satisfying weirdness to the plates presented on social media.

However, the trend is not without criticism. Several videos have been cited to be promoting disordered eating by showcasing sparer Girl Dinners. Madeleine and Olivia discuss how these videos misuse the trend, and social media’s shortcomings of simply capturing slivers of our day to day lives.

Listen to Food Futures to learn more about the rise of the Girl Dinner, the cultural ecosystem that received it, and how this trend might actually be noting a shift in how our meal times are changing.

Listen to this episode of Food Futures here.